Decision details

Decision details

Short-term lets

Decision Maker: Council

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


Councillor Price, seconded by Councillor Chapman, proposed his submitted motion as set out in the agenda and briefing note.


Council noted in debate that this proposal was not intended to penalise those providing short-term lets, but expansion and diversification of the sector meant that regulation was necessary to prevent lettings which were dangerous, sub-standard or caused nuisance.


After debate and on being put to the vote, the motion was agreed.


Council resolved to adopt the following motion:


This Council notes the expansion of short-term lets in Oxford as in many other cities, and welcomes the options that this provides for visitors to our city to find somewhere to stay.


However the Council is concerned with the growing reports of problems in this sector, and in particular notes that the very serious issues that have been reported in other cities are now starting to be reported here.


There have been documented instances of pop-up brothels and evidence of both single properties and groups of properties being used as de facto guest houses, without any need to comply with the same regulations as standard guest houses do when it comes to fire risk, environmental health or safeguarding against child sexual exploitation.


Other cities have seen houses in residential areas advertised for pay parties – where a house is effectively used as a commercial nightclub without the knowledge or consent of the landlord, with no safety or noise regulations in place, and with no consideration for neighbours.


This Council believes that it is essential that the short-term let sector is regulated, both to protect neighbours and also to prevent unfair competition undermining landlords, hotels and guest-houses that do comply with regulations that set safe standards for their properties.


Specifically, this regulation could include:

·           A definition of a property used permanently or regularly as a short-term let as a separate planning class, leading to a requirement to obtain planning permission, and allowing neighbours to object;

·           Licensing or registration of premises, in line with HMOs or hotels and guesthouses;

·          Treating such premises as commercial rather than residential, with a requirement to make use of commercial refuse and waste services.


This Council therefore asks that:

1.    The City Executive Board, and the Board Member with responsibility for this area, works alongside other local authorities, the Local Government Association and other appropriate bodies to make a coordinated and ongoing request to Government for powers to implement a scheme to make properties on short-term lets subject to the same regulation as equivalent properties.


2.    The Board Member with responsibility for this area writes to our two local MPs to ask them to support such a scheme, providing them with evidence and information to allow them to ask questions of Ministers and introduce or support any Private Members Bill or amendment to other legislation to introduce a scheme to regulate short-term lets.

Publication date: 14/06/2018

Date of decision: 23/04/2018

Decided at meeting: 23/04/2018 - Council